Friday, July 3, 2015

Walking from California to Bend-Day 6-PCT mile 1818-1829

I get up somewhat early for a beautiful walk into Crater Lake National Park.

The new growth on the tips of some conifers is a lighter green than the rest of the branch-demonstrating the hope of the tree.

Love this field of wild flowers

Inside Crater Lake National Park, the forest is very different due to the management of the trees compared to the National Forest (a completely different department in the Federal government). At this elevation, see above photo, there are firs trees in a park-like setting. And they are BIG. This one along the trail was pretty common and it's about 5 feet in diameter. 

The other key thing to note is the trail markers. Sure you can see the white diamond marking the PCT at about 5 feet up. Now look way up and spot the blue diamond. That's the winter trail marking at about 17 feet. Up at the rim, Crater Lake gets about 44 feet of snow per year. One winter about 30 years ago, they measured 21 feet on snow on the ground. This year, that didn't happen at all.

Jelly Dog
Jelly Dog and I have hiked together on and off since Mt. McLoughlin. He is this wonderful free spirit I've really come to appreciate. He was born in Peru, went to school in Olympia, and even though he is only hiking from North California to Washington, he has been camping outside since February. We talk about music for hours on end as we walk.
Rejoining the PCT
It's been 6 days and I really miss my family. I'm homesick like a kid at a YMCA camp. I've decided I'm gonna pull the plug. I text Kris to come pick me up at Crater Lake. It's only an hour and half drive and she could come get me tomorrow. I just don't like this feeling. My stomach hurts and I'm bummed not seeing my family. I've never been away from them this long. This is something I couldn't pack for.

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